Discuss how “Six O’ Clock News” and “Half-Caste” examine how the speaker feels culturally torn.
Tom Leonard and John Agard are both poets. The two are of strong cultures, Leonard from a rich Scottish background, Agard from a mixed background of Portugal and the Caribbean. They both are capable of poetic complaint. Through the years, these literature artists have experienced many cultural injustices. Leonard’s poem “Six O’clock News” and Agard’s poem “Half-Caste” embody their cultural difficulties and experiences, and are both explicit pieces of cultural identity and how these people are looked upon by society. The meanings of these poems will be discussed and examined in depth in this essay.
The structures of these two poems are very similar, but also very different.
‘Six O’clock News’ can be described as a rant, written in a single, unbroken verse with little punctuation. Likewise, ‘Half-Caste’ is also written in short lines, however with more punctuation. It starts off in formal, Standard English, and then rails off in Creole dialect, whereas the ‘Six O’clock news’ begins with a heavy Glaswegian dialect from the start. It starts in Standard English to attract the attention of the ‘superior’ people around him, and then reveals the truth about his dialect and feelings towards being labeled half-caste. In contrast, Leonard starts with his poem the way it finishes- in a thick Scottish dialect, not stopping to bring peoples’ attention, but just let the anger flow out.